The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session Page: 59
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
established practice of the House, he decided that
the petition must be received.
Mr. WISE observed that there was one question
left undecided when the House adjourned the day
before yesterday, to wit: the motion to print the list
of balances on the books of the Treasury.
The SPEAKER said that that question would
come up after finishing the call upon the States for
petitions and resolutions.
On motion by Mr. WISE, leave was given to
Thomas Harrison to withdraw his petition for a
Mr. ADAMS observed that there remained the
petition which he had presented before the House
adjourned yesterday, upon which the question of
reception was raised. Mr. A. was proceeding with
some remarks in relation to this petition, when
The SPEAKER informed him that the discus-
sion of it was not now in order, as the question of
reception was yet undecided.
Mr. ADAMS said that if he was not allowed to .|
speak on the petition, he would be allowed to speak
on the question of the reception of it. Even upon
the supposition that there were parts of it which
were excluded under the rules, there were still parts
of it which were not excluded, and were, therefore,
proper for reference. It was in that point of view
that he said yesterday that he was afraid that there
was a prayer in it which the Speaker would decide
out of order; and that was, to secure to all the peo-
ple of the United States the benefits of the self-evi-
dent principles of the Constitution—the right to life,
liberty, ana the pursuit of happiness. An objection
was made that the petition contained matter that
was insulting to the House; and he then desired
that it might be read, that the House might judge
for itself. Then an objection was raised to the
reading of the paper.
Now, he asked if it was possible to get forward
with the petitions from the people of the United
States if objections of this kind are suffered. How
members from other parts of the Union could tole-
rate the existence of a rule which excluded the ar-
guments in petitions of this nature, he was at a loss
to conceive. He protested against any responsibil-
ity for the consumption of one moment of the time
of the House, while such a rule was suffered to ex-
ist; and he must say, that all the difficulties they en-
countered in this way were owing to the assumption
of a right, by members of this body, to dictate to
their constituents how they shall exercise the rights
secured to them by the letter of the Constitution
and by the first principles of every human Govern-
Mr. SAUNDERS rose to a question of order.
He understood the gentleman from Massachusetts
to have presented a petition, the reception of which
was objected to, and that a motion had been made
to lay the question of reception on the table.
The SPEAKER did not understand that a mo-
tion was made to lay the question of reception on
Mr WISE observed that the gentleman from
Tennessee [Mr. C. Johnson] made such a motion.
Mr. ADAMS, (with strong emphasis, which ex-
cited great laughter.) Mr. Speaker! Mr. Speaker!
your journal will tell you how that "was. xhe mo-
tion to lie on the table was made in relation to an-
other petition, and not to this. The Speaker deci-
ded yesterday that that question, giving rise to de-
bate, must lie over, and so your journal shows.
There was no motion made for laying on the table.
That expedient was not resorted to.
Mr. SAUNDERS asked if he was right 111 sup-
posing that the question was on the reception of the
petition. , ,
Mr. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, am I in order?
Mr. SAUNDERS. I am calling the gentleman to
01 Mr. ADAMS. If I am in order, I insist on my
neht to proceed.
Mr SAUNDERS. I have not vet stated my
point of order, and I desire to know, first, what is the
question before the House. I understand it to be,
"Shall the petition be rerened?" and if so, I call the
gentleman to order for irrelevancy m introducing the
Subject of the '21st rule of the House, which has
nothing to do with the question of reception of this
' ^The'sPEAKER said lie understood the gentle-
man from North Carohna to call the gentleman
from Massachusetts to order for irrelevancy in de-
bate. It was with great difficulty very frequently
that the Chair coulf see the applicability of remarks
which gentlemen proposed to bring to'beai on ques-
tions before the House. It seemed to the Chair,
however, that a discussion of the 21st rule of this
House was not now relevant to the question which
the House was called upon to decide.
Mr. ADAMS said that he was not) discuss-
ing that rule. The gentleman from North
Carolina, however, had shifted his ground.
That gentleman called him to order because the
gentleman from North Carolina pretended there was
a motion yesterday to lay this subject on the table.
That was the ground just stated. He was now
called to order on the ground of irrelevancy. Why,
according to the construction of some human skulls,
nothing that bears directly on the subject before the
House is relevant; and it sometimes happened that
skulls of that kind have sympathy with the skull of
the Speaker. [Great sensation.]
The SPEAKER said, order and decorum must be
required in debate; and the Chair could not, and
would not,, permit reflections of that kind to be
made on members of this House, or on the Chair.
[Loud cries of "That's right."]
Mr. ADAMS, (at the top of his voice.) "That^s
right," say all the slave Representatives on this
floor. [Increased sensation.]
The SPEAKER, (to Mr. Adams.) The gentle-
man will take his seat.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL (Mr. Adams still stand-
ing) said the gentleman from Massachusetts having
taken his scat—or being supposed to have taken his
seat as required by the Chair—he (Mr. I.) as
a peace-maker, to get rid of this unpleasant subject,
would move that the House resolve itself into a
Committee of the Whole House; his purpose being
to move to take up the bill to refund the fine of Gen.
The SPEAKER said the motion could not be en-
tertained m that shape; for a suspension of the
rules would be first necessary; and such a motion
would require a two-thirds vote.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL moved the suspension of
The SPEAKER was putting the question, when
Mr. WHITE rose, and, with deference to the
Chair, suggested that there was an impropriety in en-
tertaining the motion of the gentleman from Pennsyl-
vania while there was a question pending.
Mr. BIDLACK. I wish to make an inquiry.
Mr. WHITE. And I wish to propose that the
gentleman from Massachusetts be permitted to pro-
ceed in order; which is a courtesy that has never
been denied in this House. I now ask leave—nay,
I claim it as a right—that this motion be mpw enter-
tained by the Chair, and submitted to the House.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL said, with deference to
the gentleman from Kentucky, he knew, by his own
experience, that a contrary practice had been pur-
sued. He had himself been called to order for
irrelevancy; he had been turned into his seat foi
irrelevancy; (and of that he did not complain, he
merely mentioned it as a precedent;) he had moved
for leave to proceed in order, and the majority, by
the yeas and nays, had decided against him. This
was a precedent: he then understood that the gen-
tleman from Massachusetts had been required to
take his seat, and consequently that the subject was
at an end; and he^had anticipated any other pro-
ceeding, bv his motion to go into Committee of the
Whole which was a motion that was always in
order. He admitted that courtesy should ever pre-
vail in the proceedings of the House; but ne ap-
sumption of three or four hours every day in the
way m which they were proceeding. They had
papers presented, which, he must say, appeared to
him to trench as much upon the profane and on
irreverence, as anything in the world could. 1 his
was a paper which was said to be a petition calling
upon this House to confess its sins, and to acknowl-
edge the divinity of the Head of our holy religion.
Sir. ADAMS interposed; but
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL said lie had the floor,
and he intended to insist upon his right to it until
he had done. . ,
The SPEAKER said the motion before tiie
House to suspend the rules was not debatable.
Mr. WELLER remarked, that all the debate was
out of order. . , ,
Mr. DUNCAN rose, and said he wished to un-
derstand the question. .
The SPEAKER said debate was not m order.
Mr. DUNCAN said he^ understood, then, the
Chair to decide that it was in order to move a sus-
pension of the rules while a member wa* speaking.
The SPEAKER said the Chair had not So de-
cided. The gentleman from Massachusetts had
been called to order; and having been required to
take his seat, and no other proposition being before
the House, nor any other member being entitled to
Ae floor, the gentleman from Pennsylvania had
risen and moved a suspension of the rules; which,
in the opinion of the Chair, was in order.
Mr. DUNCAN inquired if he was to understand
that, while a member was on the floor, he could be
called to order; and, if pronounced to be out of order
by the Chair, and required to take his seat, (and
under such circumstances it would be his duty to
take his seat,) that such member would be precluded
from proceeding in order? (Great confusioii.) He
certainly considered that a member, who. might be
called to order for irrelevancy, should be at liberty
to go on in order, although he had been declared to
be out of order.
The SPEAKER. The Chair would remark that
it was not in order to debate this question.
Mr. DUNCAN. I am not debating a question.
I have risen to a question of order.
The SPEAKER said it would have been in order
for the gentleman from Massachusetts to have gone
on, if the gentleman from Pennsylvania had not
submitted this motion; but two-thirds of the House
could at any time change the order of business.
Mr. DUNCAN said now he had the question
fairly stated; and it was his desire to have it stated
so that all could understand it. The gentleman from
Massachusetts was discussing a question; he was
declared to be out of order for irrelevancy, [a voiced-
indecorum,] or indecorum, if they pleased; and
while he was declared to be out of order, a gentle-
man from Pennsylvania rose and moved a suspen-
sion of the rules for a certain purpose, and thus the
member callcd' to order was precluded from making
any further remarks in order. If such was the de-
cision of the Chair, he should appeal from that de-
cision. Whenever he could do so with safety, he
was desirous to sustain the Chair; and it was with
great reluctance that he felt himself compel ed now
to take an appeal.
The SPEAKER again explained at some ength,
and stated that no gentleman was on the floor at the
time that the gentleman from Pennsylvania made his
motion to suspend the rules.
Mr. WHITE made some remarks, m the course
of which he contended that the course of the House,
during the ten years that he had occupied a seat in
it, was to allow gentleman called to order for irrel-
evany, on their own motion, or on the motion of an-
other gentleman, to proceed in order; and he desired
the same courtesy to be extended to the gentleman
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL said any appeal to him
to extend personal courtesy to any gentleman on
that floor would never be disregarded by him. _ The
gentleman from Kentucky would do him the justice
to remember, that when he rose, he stated explicitly
that he rose as a peace-maker; and at the very time
that he so interposed, it must also be remembered that
the gentleman from Massachusetts had thrown out to^
many members on that floor the most offensive of
all taunts. If, however, the gentleman from Massa-
chusetts desired to make any explanation, an appeal
to his courtesy would not be made in vain.
Mr. WHITE said, a gentleman called to order
and compelled to take his seat, might be called "upon
to sitdown wrongfully, and the judgment of the Chair
might not be sustained by the House, if an opportu-
nity were afforded the House to act upon the ques-
tion. If, however, a gentleman was compelled to take
his seat, and there the matter was to end, an impu-
tation might rest upon such gentleman improperly.
He claimed, therefore, for the gentleman from Mas-
sachusetts, the usual courtesy in such cases; and he
denied, also, that ihe question on which the gentle-
man was addressing the House, when he was called
to order, was disposed of thereby.
Mr. C. J. INGRSOLL again said, if the gentle-
man from Massachusetts desired to explain, he
would withdraw his motion. ,,rlOT,
Some conversation followed between Mr. vV
The SPEAKER, Mr. CAVE JOHNSON, and
0tj,™ C. J. INGERSOLL withdrew his motion.
Mr! WHITE then moved that the gentleman
from Massachusetts have leave to go on in order.
Mr. WINTHROP paid, this being a question
which affects the liberty of speech, he maintained
that the o-entleman was entitled to proceed without
any motion for granting him permission.
| Mr. HOPKINS rose to a point of order. He de-
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session, book, 1844; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2367/m1/83/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.